OWL Brightspace Training and Resources

OWL Brightspace Training and Resources for Instructors

About the OWL Migration Plan:

Starting in 2022, Western engaged in a search for a new learning management system (LMS) to support the future of teaching and learning at Western. The new LMS will power OWL, Western’s core learning platform. After a robust community consultation and procurement process, Brightspace was selected as the new LMS in May 2023. For more information, visit the OWL Migration Plan website.

OWL Brightspace Early Adopter Program:

An Early Adopter Program (EAP) launched on January 8 with approximately 4,700 students across 18 courses using OWL Brightspace for the Winter 2024 term. Instructors in the EAP have been working closely with Western Technology Services and the Centre for Teaching and Learning to train in the new LMS, migrate course content, and set up course sites. The EAP will inform future processes and resources for OWL Brightspace to support the broader Western community later this year.

OWL Brightspace Sandboxes:

Those teaching or directly supporting an academic course in the Spring/Summer 2024 term are now able to opt-in to a sandbox (a personal course used for testing and experimentation) in OWL Brightspace. Those teaching in Fall 2024 can request a sandbox starting in March. Sandboxes will be available starting January 26th. Requesting a sandbox will jumpstart the experience with OWL Brightspace so users can familiarize themselves with the new LMS and access training to support their journey.

OWL Brightspace Training, Resources, and Support:

Once you receive an OWL Brightspace sandbox you will be able to access self-directed online training and other supports—Log into OWL Brightspace, click Help on the Home Navigation Bar, find “Instructor Training”. Note: The training will appear in the Help drop down from the Home page and not if you are on a course site such as your sandbox.

The training has been adapted from D2L's Training Program and made specific to support Western and affiliate instructors to learn the new OWL Brightspace platform. It is intended for anyone teaching or supporting a course, such as instructors, course coordinators, grade admins, instructional designers, etc. The training has been divided into different sections that will allow users to learn how to create course sites and run them effectively. In addition to the online training, users will have an opportunity to attend weekly drop-in sessions and/or weekly interactive workshops.

Please see the OWL Brightspace Instructor Training site (accessed from Help on the Home Navigation; see above) for more details about dates, times and how to join the sessions. Specifically, this information is located on the “Help is Available” page of the Welcome pop up (Step 4 of 5). You can also access the page it by clicking “Training Content” on the top left of the navigation bar and then selecting “Help is Available” from the options listed.   At this time there is no registration required for these sessions.

Drop-in sessions

Drop-in sessions are a series of 1-hour informal virtual meetings designed to provide you with the opportunity to ask questions, seek clarification, and gain a deeper understanding of Brightspace and migrating to this new platform. During these sessions, you will engage with facilitators from the Centre for Teaching and Learning and Western Technology Services to get real-time assistance. These sessions will also allow you to connect with peers and share your experiences.

Interactive workshops

Interactive workshops are opportunities to join engaging sessions where you’ll participate in interactive activities, explore key tools and features, and gain hand-on experience with Brightspace. Each session begins with an overview of a topic and includes time to practice in your sandbox. Examples of workshop topics include:

  1. Introduction to Brightspace
  2. Structure and Organization - Setting yourself up for success
  3. Migrating Course Elements
  4. Building Your Course
  5. Communicating with your students (Checklist, Calendar, Announcements, Email, and Intelligent Agents)
  6. Peer-to-Peer interaction (Discussions and Groups)
  7. Assessment 1 (Self-Assessments, Surveys, and Assignments)
  8. Assessment 2 (Quizzes and Question Library (pools))
  9. Gradebook
  10. Teaching with Brightspace: Tools for running your course


Please reach out to the eLearning team if you have any questions at elearning-support@uwo.ca.

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